Special Events: Breaking a Public Policy Impasse: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Syringe Exchanges in California

Friday, April 12, 2019: 1:00 PM-2:00 PM
Continuing Education Building - Room 2070 - 2090 (University of California, Irvine)

Syringe exchanges are considered to be one of the most cost effective ways to help mitigate the effects of the opioid epidemic. In California, a bill signed in 2011 (AB 604) authorizes the State to certify syringe exchanges directly in order to prevent unnecessary disease outbreaks. Orange County was the first local jurisdiction to have a state-certified syringe exchange, but after concerted effort by local governments, a court injunction now prevents this exchange from operating, increasing the risk of transmission of HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and overdose-induced deaths. This panel will consider from a variety of disciplinary perspectives what individuals interested in the policy implications of this impasse can do to help serve marginalized populations and empower communities to respond effectively to the opioid epidemic, both in Orange County and beyond.

Moderator: Seth Pipkin, University of California, Irvine


  • Ricky Bluthenthal, University of Southern California
  • Robert Solomon, University of California, Irvine
  • Brooke Weitzman,¬†Elder Law and Disability Center¬†

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